UPSHOT | REVOLUTION
25 YEARS OF ALTERNATIVE CLUB PROMOTION
PROMOS TOP 100
Over the past quarter of a century under our two monikers Upshot & Revolution, we have delivered over 2,000 DJ promos to the nation's alternative club nights on behalf of our client labels. The Alt. scene has always been hard to pin down, a multi-genre gathering point for mainly young people who are looking for something more fulfilling than mainstream nightlife culture, a place to dance, sing along, hang with friends and make new ones. A safe haven to enjoy a wide range of music created by bands, producers, solo artists, experimentals, supergroups, an ever changing landscape that shines a light on the cultural nuances of their particular times. The diaspora of club nights under this banner range from indie, rock, left field dance and electronica, plus all it's attendant splintered sub-genres, a melting pot where you can actually see and feel a public reaction to new music.
Over 25 years, times and tastes have changed, begining at the burning embers of Grunge, through the heady days of Britpop, the mash-up meld of indie/rock and sampliers that became Big Beat, new tech ushering in the infiltration of Electronica, the influence of the internet age yielding out-of-nowhere one-hit-wonders, the Post-Punk revival, DIY and bedroom heroes, to the no barriers multi hybrids of sound that make up todays left of centre artists.
As for the list, much like the spirit of the alt. club scene it's derived from, there's no particular governing rules; a mix of the biggest, most influential, personal favourites, unexpected hits, and game changers. It's by no means a list of the best 100 tracks of the last 25 years in the alt. clubs, just cribbed from ones that passed from our hands as promos to those DJ's who rocked our worlds each weekend. The only rule was no more than 2 tracks from any given artist. It's not here to be judged, just enjoyed. If you ever frequented an alt. club night over the past 25 years, there might be something here you know and love, or something that you may hear for the first time and fall for. That's what indie clubbing was all about, after all. Our heartfelt thanks go to all the labels, artists, management companies, DJ's, promoters, and past employees who made this little niche in the music world happen. It's been a heady ride..
Dedicated to Ned Reynolds RIP x
THE ROCKERFELLER SKANK (1998)
A no brainer for the top of the pile. If any single track embodies the rich melting pot of hues, sounds, styles and flavours of the Alternative Club scene, this is the one. From the 'Right about now..' clarion call, no track has had such a wide ranging impact over the past 25 years, incorporating retro, beats, rock, electro, dance, rap and indie into a sonic sandwich that shouldn't taste this good. As the cover of the album this is from states,"I'm No.1, so why try harder?". Indeed you are, indeed you are..
ROCK & ROLL STAR (1995)
One of our first ever promo campaigns. Whilst we could choose one of many of the Gallagher's myriad of mid-90's hits (even B-sides became peak time floofillers), the clarion-call opening riff and rasp of Liam's timbre made this the daddy of the Oasis catalogue when it came to the clubs. The sentiment of 'Tonight.. I'm a Rock & Roll Star' allowed everyone to swagger on the dancefloor and be that star, just for a few moments, and sums up the era like no other indie rock track. Mammoth.
Towards the end of the 90's, the growing fusion of indie, rock, hip-hop and dance was finding it's own sound, especially around the scene coined as 'Big Beat' emerging from labels such as Skint and Wall Of Sound. The genre was tailor made for the Alt. Club dancefloor, and this sleazy, funky track - seemingly out of nowhere from a little known Brighton outfit - summed up the spirit of this unholy union of sonics like no other. A bolt from the blue that sounds as good today as back then..
MR. BRIGHTSIDE (2003)
'Hot Fuss' became one of the biggest albums of the period, garnering a host of Alt. Club staples. We had been working with The Killers for some time, finally seeing them break through with 'Somebody Told Me' at the third time of asking, but it was this track that truly defines them. Simple, unadulterated, explosive indie pop-rock that you can sing along to from the top of your lungs, and remains one of the go-to peak tracks even to this day that united fans of different genres like no other. Pop perfection.
THE NEW POLLUTION (1996)
It's not hard to argue that Beck has been one of the most enduring artists of the alternative scene over the past three decades, remaining a creative and relevant musical shape shifter. The genius of the LP Odelay with it's mix of styles and quirks moulded from samples and Hicksville lyrics birthed many huge tunes, and it was a straight toss up between this and the equally adored Devil's Haircut. However, TNP's shades of Northern Soul, Americana, and saxophone made it work for everyone.. still does.